Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WiPs and Griffin Dyeworks Retreat

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I've been absent for a couple of weeks.  Some evil cold took me down for a while (it's been 3 weeks now and I'm almost back to 100%) and a ton of work kept me from the more fun things in life.  My WiP list is basically the same.

I finished the knitting for the Estuary Tank.  I am going to add sleeves and steek it and then I will show you the result.

I've got an additional 3 pairs of socks cast on since the last WiP-mainly in various stages to demonstrate techniques and what not for my two at a time sock class I taught at the retreat.

Everything else is at the same spot because I've been spinning.

I love my wheel.  It's an Ashford Kiwi 2.  Now a couple of weeks ago I was not loving my wheel.  I took off the bobbin to start a new one and suddenly I could not get the bobbin to take the yarn.  It would just keep twisting.  So I packed the wheel and everything up and took it to the retreat where I could get some assistance.  After asking for some spare lighter fluid and being denied, I called out to anyone available (late Friday evening while hanging in the lodge) and Ruth, goddess that she is, fixed me.  And by me, I mean my wheel.  It took her about 5 minutes to figure out what I was doing wrong.  Turns out the orifice has holes on both sides and you need to threat through the hole on the same side as the hooks.  Duh!

But I spun.  And look- my first bobbin.

Now I am almost finished filling a second bobbin.  I've plied the first bobbin and need to wind it into a skein, give it a bath and thwack and then I will have my first yarn off my wheel.  So excited about it and frustrated that work and life keep getting in the way of me having time to finish that and spin more.

I still need to work on my drafting, but with practice that will improve.

The Griffin Dyeworks Retreat was held over Father's Day weekend this year at a small retreat in Lake Arrowhead.  And it was divine.  This is a small retreat and it is wonderful.  The people are awesome.  Someone is always willing to teach you.  If you miss a class because you were so absorbed in the dye pots, for example, often the teacher would catch you at a later time and teach you.

If a class wasn't offered, someone was sure to know the skill and be willing to teach it.  It's Three days of fiber related bliss.  Time to sit and talk with other crafters.  Time to learn a new skill or improve skills you already have.  And time to spend working on whatever project you wanted at any given time.  A great vacation.

I highly recommend it.  This year I taught two classes.  How to make socks two at a time on one circular needle and how to customize a pattern to fit your own body.  Both were good classes with intelligent students.  I learned how to dye gradient yarns, how to do Kumihumo Braiding, how to weave a basket, how to dye a basket, and got spinning tips.  I sat in on a few minutes of crazy quilting and a plying class.  Got interested in learning a new weaving technique (for next years retreat) and spent some time enjoying nature while standing at the dye pots.

 Lake Arrowhead

docks at Arrowhead

 Lisa and I at the Lake

 Gradient dying

 Lisa's basket is on the left mine is on the right.  This is the first dip into an exhausted indigo pot.  Lisa chose to do gradient dying on her pot and I went for a deep indigo color with a second dip in a new pot

Show n Tell.  My gradient fiber, basket and spinning

Lisa's Show n Tell-crazy quilt, dyed yarn, needle felting, rag rug (red and grey) and basket

I highly recommend this retreat for anyone in Southern California and even those from farther afield.

For more WiPs check out Tami's Amis Blog

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Happy Wednesday!

I have two projects to tell you about today.  The first is the Estuary Tank.  I finished knitting the body and have seamed it together.  I need to knit the waist band, neckband and some other finishing work.  I'm adding sleeves (because I can and want to) and will be steeking this sucker and turning it into a button up short sleeve cardi.

Here's where it's at currently:

I am going to double knit over that visible line in the middle (where I sewed the bottom square on incorrectly)-so that should disappear.  I'll add the waistband and sleeves next.

This pattern goes so fast.  I will be making it again-this time I'll sew the bottom square on correctly and I will do some short rows in the bust area.  I'm not too happy about the way that the garter stitches pull in the current version.  Hence the steeking.  I don't want to rip it out and start over.

I've been working on the Emelie sweater and finally-yup FINALLY- finished that 3 and a half inches of 3 x 2 ribbing (worked flat on size 2 needles).

I've finished one repeat of the lace pattern and have miles to go.

Loving the way it looks now though.

Forgive the awful photo.  You can see the long ribbing.  It looks great.

For more WiPs check out Tamis Amis' blog

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stash Dash 2014

Have you heard about the Stash Dash of 2014?

It's a fun challenge brought forth by the Knit Girllls podcast.

The challenge is simple.  Knit (crochet, weave or whatever fiber related activity that thrills you) 5k yards of yarn from your stash.  From May 23rd through August 7th.  That's 5,468 yards.  Any works in progress existing as of May 23rd or cast on since then count.  (Yup-all the yards.  So if you had a blanket that only needs a finishing edge and you finish it between May 23rd and August 7th you get to count all the yards for that entire blanket.

Are you in?  Can you do it?  I think you can.

I'm in.  So far I've knit almost 1,000 yards of yarn since May 23rd.  Spinning counts too.  I just need to measure my sad attempts at spinning thus far and then add to my post.

Check out the Knit Girllls Stash Dash 2014 on Ravelry for more info and to join in the fun.